Questions for Dog Breeders

The questions for dog breeders listed below are a starting point for your conversation with any Pug breeders you speak to in your search for the perfect Pug. Of course, the perfect Pug is a relative term and will certainly mean different things to different owners. You'll know your perfect Pug when you see him. The questions for dog breeders listed below is by no means an exhaustive list and a conversation with other Pug owners or a veterinarian will yield other questions as well. So will your conversation with the breeder. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions that come to mind! Dog breeders should have the dog's best interests at heart!

1. Can you visit?

We think it’s critical that you be allowed to visit and see first-hand the environment your future puppy is being raised in. Not being able to visit and look around would set off a red flag with us. On the other hand, you don’t want to wear out your welcome so don’t expect to be able to drop in whenever you want. You want to see where your puppy is living however, so that you can be sure about the quality of the care they’re receiving. Are they getting human contact? That would be a good thing. Are they kept in cages? That would be a bad thing especially if that’s where they relieve themselves. This may make them harder to house train.

2. What kind experience do you have with Pugs?

Ideally your breeder will be a Pug “specialist” but we have also seen some breeders successfully manage more than one breed. You want to know how long they’ve been in business and if you can check their references. A reputable breeder will encourage these types of questions. Obviously, the greater the experience the better. You want to avoid someone who got involved because Pugs became popular and there’s money to be made.

3. How often do you have puppies available?

In this case, more is not necessarily better. Dog Breeders who have puppies available all of the time start to get into the “puppy mill” territory. Generally, three litters a year are about average. Although more litters does give them greater experience you want to know that you’re getting a quality puppy.

4. What are the details of the pedigree?

Without question you should be able to see the pedigree. The breeder should be familiar with any of the dogs that are in your puppy’s lineage. You should avoid inbreeding and you’ll be able to detect that if the same dog appears on both sides (sire and dam) you should be wary. Some breeders will say that this was to keep certain desirable characteristics but you do not want a dog who is the product of too much inbreeding. Don’t be surprised if the breeder can furnish picutures of all of the ancestors. That would be a good sign that they take this very seriously. In checking out where your puppy came from don’t be afraid to ask questions about the health clearances for its parents. There are some hereditary Pug problems that you should be sensitive to. Hip problems are quite common and you can actually get a clearance from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. There is additional information on what to look for in our section on health. One last note is that you want to verify that you work with dog breeders who breed only from dogs registered with the American Kennel Club or another legitimate dog registry. The key word here is legitimate. It isn’t unheard of to get a “registry” from a less than certified source. Ask to see the registry.

5. Will you have a contract?

Most good dog breeders have a contract that will protect both you and them. It spells out the price, what you should expect and what kind of guarantee comes with your Pug. These are fair questions. For the amount of money you’re spending you have a right to the answers. Don’t be surprised if you get asked questions as well! A good breeder does this because they love what they do and many of them love every little Pug that comes their way. They take your money with mixed emotions.

Pug breeders are great sources of information. They will give you all of the plusses and minuses of owning a Pug. They may slant the information slightly toward the positive but, generally, they will also tell you what to expect once you become a Pug owner. They may also be a source for a Pug at a greatly reduced price or, dare we say it, for free. Try this only after you have built some kind of relationship but one of the questions for dog breeders might be if they know of any free Pugs?